San Diego Secures County Water Authority’s Support for Potable Reuse Project
Pure Water San Diego recognized as the region’s most likely next source of local supply
Following in the footsteps of the San Diego City Council, the San Diego County Water Authority’s Board of Directors granted their full support to the city’s proposed large-scale potable reuse project Pure Water San Diego, through a formal resolution.
On April 29, 2014 the San Diego City Council approved a formal resolution stating full support of the city’s program to provide a safe, secure and drought-proof local drinking water supply through the advanced treatment of recycled water. The resolution grants the authorization to proceed with implementing the various facets of the Pure Water Program.
City staff have begun the formalization of an implementation strategy and have initiated technical studies to refine system-wide reuse concepts developed in the 2012 Recycled Water Study. The study determined a multi-phase potable reuse project could add up to 83 million gal per day of reliable water to the region. It also would significantly reduce wastewater discharges to the ocean and help address regulatory compliance at the city’s Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant by diverting flows.
“The issue of reliable water for our city is more important than ever, and it is one that I have taken a special interest in during my time on the council and as mayor. San Diego imports 85% of its water and pursuing potable reuse would give us water independence and create a local sustainable supply of high quality drinking water,” said Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer. “We are currently missing an opportunity by dumping 175 million gal of useable water to the ocean every day.”
Currently, 1 million gal of water is purified every day at the city’s demonstration facility located near University Towne Center. The water produced meets all federal and state drinking water standards but is for testing purposes only. The water is not currently added to the drinking water supply.
The water purification process includes a three-step treatment process of membrane filtration, reverse osmosis and advanced oxidation with ultraviolet light and hydrogen peroxide. Following one year of testing and publication of results, the city council unanimously adopted the findings in April 2013 and set forth directives for implementing water purification in San Diego.
“This is a critical juncture for the city of San Diego. Imported water supplies have doubled in cost since 2008 and are expected to continue to rise, which translates to rate increases for our residents,” said Halla Razak, the city’s public utilities director. “The Pure Water Program is a comprehensive effort that will provide a secure and reliable long-term local water supply for San Diego while resolving decade-long issues associated with Point Loma.”